HEADACHE “My head is splitting
“It feels as though a machine were grinding my head
“If you can’t stop these headaches, I am going to commit suicide!”
“I feel as though a vise were squeezing my brain out!”
You Are Not Alone...
In fact, more people complain about headaches than about any other physical
problem. At least ninety percent of us have them. Almost everyone
knows what a headache is. Headache is a major public health problem.
It is one of the ten most common presenting symptoms in general practice
and is among the prominent causes of sickness, absence from work,
resulting in millions of lost working days each year. In fact, 76%
of women and 57% of men have had a significant headache in the past
month. Unfortunately, despite the millions of headaches suffered,
no other ailment is more misunderstood or more underestimated. Most
sufferers are told that “there is nothing to find”and “nothing
It Is NOT All In
Headache is like many illnesses that are identified initially due to
psychological causes such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s
Disease. Patients with frequent and disabling headaches not only suffer
from the illness and its complications but from rejection and cynicism,
from family and physician, discrimination and repudiation by insurance
carrier and employers. Headache is generally an inherited disorder which
results from changes in brain physiology.
What Type Of Headache?
Following are the major categories and types of headaches seen in most
Migraine is one of the most common headache conditions known to
mankind, affecting 18% of adult population. These headaches are
called vascular headaches as they are linked to changes in blood
flow to the brain. There are two major types of migraine headaches:
Migraine with aura or classic migraine and migraine without aura
or common migraine. 10 - 20% of the people who have migraines experience
an aura: they see flashes of light, blind spots, or zig-zag lines
before the headache starts. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting,
tingling in the lips and face, and sensitivity to light. Attacks
can last anywhere from a few hours to a full day or more.
Cluster headache -
Cluster headaches are more common in the spring or fall in middle-aged
men who smoke heavily. Cluster headache pain is generally very
severe. It develops behind or around one eye and rarely moves from
side to side. This type of headache builds quickly in about five
minutes and lasts between forty-five minutes and an hour.
Cervicogenic headache -
Cervicogenic headache gets its name from its origin from the neck,
which is very common. Now, it is well known that there is a connection
between the first three cervical nerve roots and the fifth cranial
nerve in the cervical cord. So, we understand that muscle spasm
or nerve root irritation in the neck can cause the pain in and
around the eye and in the face by means of this fifth nerve, otherwise
known as the trigeminal nerve. Sometimes, the headache arising
from the neck is also associated with neck, shoulder, and arm pain.
Tension type headache -
This is the most common type. These headaches occur when muscles
in the head, neck, upper back, or face are tense for a long period.
A tension headache may be set off by physical, mental, or emotional
Remember most headaches are not signs of serious illness. Immediate medical
help is advisable if headaches:
- Strike suddenly and cause severe pain.
- Are accompanied by vision changes, confusion, loss of consciousness,
numbness, or any similar changes.
- Wakes you up during the night.
- Become more frequent or severe.
- Follows a blow to the head.
- Occur with fever or a stiff neck.
- Occur in young children or older adults.
- Repeatedly affect the same area such as an eye or ear.
- Are accompanied by convulsions.
The kind of treatment you receive will largely depend on what has been
found out about you and your headache, but the most common element
to almost all individual treatment plans will be learning. You will
learn:- How to recognize early signs of headache and avoid their
||How to avoid circumstances
that can trigger your headaches or how to react to the circumstances
||How to change habits that can increase
muscle tension and produce headaches.
||How to actually reduce stress in your
body by using biofeedback techniques.It is extremely important
to remember that headache treatment is not passive. You should
be willing to take an active role in your treatment.
Medications For Treating
In general, with your cooperation and consent, we must decide
to approach your headache by the abortive, also known as “symptomatic”method
(trying to stop a headache once it has already begun) or by the preventive
method (trying to prevent the onset of the headache) by treating you
daily, similar to the principle concerning the use of birth control
pills. The preventive approach is most often used when the headaches
are frequent and occur with regularity.
Chronic daily headache -
Chronic daily headache affects ten million people in this country.
It affects more women than men. A few headaches per week gradually
become daily, sometimes without stopping. The pain is mild to moderate,
usually on both sides of the head and described as pressing, squeezing,
and occasionally throbbing.
Drug rebound headache -
Drug rebound headaches are those headaches that are actually caused
by the frequent use of pain killers, prescription, and over-the-counter
medications. Although Aspirin, Tylenol and many prescription pain
killers (Codeine, Demerol, Barbiturates, Ergot, and Caffeine) are
helpful to the occasional headache sufferer, the overuse of these
drugs can often make an existing headache worse.-
Warning headache -
Rarely some headaches (about 2%) present as a warning signal of:
Disorders of the eyes, ears, teeth, jaw, sinuses, allergies, temporal
arteritis, brain tumor or aneurysm.
Treating Headache Without Drugs
Even though it is a common practice to give drugs for almost all types
of pain and drugs have represented the mainstay of traditional headache
treatment, it is important to try to find safer and equally effective
means of relieving or preventing headaches without resorting to the use
means treating the mind, but in a broad sense psychotherapy can
include any method of lessening tension, anxiety, or depression.
Physical therapy: Simple
therapies may help relieve headache pain or prevent headaches completely.
Understanding various lifting techniques and understanding how
the neck functions will go a long way in helping your headache.
Injection therapy: Various
types of injections and nerve blocks have been used for management
of headaches and have been proven to be successful. These include
epidural steroids and various types of nerve blocks, occipital
Biofeedback and self-regulation: Biofeedback
training is a means of teaching you to develop conscious control
over various autonomic bodily functions. The tightness of your
neck muscles or even the temperature of your fingers can be altered
through control over your body.
of the patients who are joggers suggest that a headache can be
aborted by jogging. Some even suggest that they have suffered far
fewer headaches since taking up a regular exercise program. A regular
exercise such as jogging lasting for fifteen to twenty minutes,
four times a week, for patients who are physically fit may be helpful
to both mind and body.
Appointments & Emergencies
Appointments are made through our office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday by phoning (270) 554-8373 or (618) 997-7820.
In case of an emergency, you may reach the Center’s physician
at the Center (270) 554-8373.
If you have any serious complications or
side effects, please report to the closest emergency room and inform
the physician to contact the Center.